The Patent Office of the United States has made public two applications by British banking giant, Barclays plc, concerned with using blockchain in order to improve account security as well as potentially facilitating cryptocurrency transfers through a bank-backed platform.
The applications were filed on July 19th but were only made public on Thursday (July 26th). Contained within the applications are also a proposition for streamlining know-your-customer (KYC) processes through a blockchain-based database. These applications show that the bank is clearly interested in using blockchain tech to improve its services.
An excerpt from one of the documents is as follows:
“The use of a block chain provides at least several benefits. These include its public nature, allowing any other party or entity from viewing the data and cryptographic verification of the data enabled by the digital signatures, hashing and layered nature of the block chain. The transaction is a complete and verified unit of data in a form that may be added to the block chain … Further or duplicate checks and work may be avoided, which can improve the efficiency of computer networks.”
Through using blockchain, Barclays indicates that it envisions increased reliability coming from verifications, which would not require huge technical upgrades or improvements. Further detailed in the application is a “super” authority which may potentially be able to move data from old blocks and perhaps even delete certain parts given appropriate support from authorizing parties. Finally, and rather significantly there is a direct mention of digital currency, suggesting that the bank may develop a platform to transfer “digital currency from a payer to a recipient”.
Barclays has shown a fair amount of interest in the crypto space up to this point. In April, ToshiTimes reported the bank was investigating opening a crypto trading desk as it attempted to catch up with Wall Street giants like Goldman Sachs. Whilst many companies patent ideas purely in order to prevent other firms doing them first, this move certainly shows the line of thought the bank is moving on and that they envision a future relationship between, not only themselves and blockchain, but also perhaps themselves and cryptocurrency.
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Alex has been putting words on paper since he was old enough to hold a pen; when he bought his first bitcoin in January 2017, those words discovered their place within crypto as well. He holds a master’s degree in international relations from Leiden University in the Netherlands, and his special expertise lies in European cryptocurrency regulation.